Muslim men in Dearborn made it clear that male doctors and nurses would not be allowed to treat female patients. The clinic complied with these demands, and even fired a male nurse who dared treat female patients. And now Dearborn is being sued . . . again.
Ironically, the clinic has already been closed due to budget cuts. Perhaps Dearborn wouldn't need to deal with such dramatic budget cuts if they'd stop violating people's rights.
Detroit—A male nurse filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the city of Dearborn on Wednesday, claiming he was fired for treating conservative Muslim women wearing head scarves.
John Benitez Jr. is suing for unspecified damages and to reclaim his job, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
Benitez, 63, of Madison Heights, worked at the city's taxpayer-funded health clinic. He alleges he was ordered by a female supervisor not to treat conservative Muslim women, specifically those wearing head scarves, according to the lawsuit. He was told the clinic's male Muslim clientele did not want a male treating female patients.
He complied until November 2010, when a doctor ordered him to treat Muslim women as he would any other patient. Benitez followed the doctor's order and was fired less than one month later, according to the lawsuit.
"When you get to the point that taxpayer-funded entities are having to comply with personal religious beliefs rather than letting people do their job you're going down a road that does not end in a good place," the nurse's lawyer Deborah Gordon said in an interview Wednesday. "If people don't want to be treated, they can go find their own practitioner."
The city closed the clinic June 30 amid budget cuts. (Read more.)
For more on Dearborn, click here.